On the morning of the first day of Georgia football preseason camp, running backs D’Andre Swift and Zamir White had a quick conversation.
White made it clear how he was feeling as a new football season was getting under way.
“I was just talking to him about 20 minutes ago,” Swift said. “He’s just so happy to play football again. He’s been out of the game for a minute.”
During last year’s fall camp, White went down with an ACL tear in his left knee. The year prior, he suffered his first ACL tear, this one in his right knee, as a senior in high school in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
“It was hard for everybody in the organization,” Swift said. “He was doing so well, he was on the right track … He’s worked extremely hard just to get back to this point. So we’re all excited for him.”
Swift led Georgia last year with 1,049 yards last year. Elijah Holyfield, who is currently trying to make the Carolina Panthers’ roster, rattled off 1,018 yards in 2018.
With Holyfield gone, there’s been a question as to whether or not the Bulldogs will have somebody to replicate his production.
Smart discussed that situation on Friday.
“It’s going to depend on how much separation there is,” Smart said. “If there’s a lot of separation, you won’t see a package … The bottom line is we want the best players on the field at the right time … We didn’t have a package when Roquan (Smith) was here. We’re going to have a committee if it’s dead even.”
Senior Brian Herrien was the third leading rusher last year with 295 yards. White, a redshirt freshman, and James Cook, a sophomore, will join Herrien in carrying an expanded load this year.
Fromm likes what he sees from White and Cook.
“They bring explosiveness … Anytime we have those kind of guys in our arsenal on offense, it’s incredible, and it’s really fun to play with,” Fromm said. “For coach (James) Coley and myself, (it’s important) to make sure we give those guys the ball.”
Linebacker Monty Rice said Georgia fans need to prepare themselves for White’s skills.
“Zamir is a workhorse,” Rice said. “I think in practice and this camp is going to show a lot what he has done and what he has overcome. So I think we’re in for a show.”
Swift, who has battled groin and ankle injuries in the past, considers himself a mentor for White and Cook.
“I’m in the room now where they kind of look to me as that older guy, the role model type of guy,” Swift said. “[I try] to do good on and off the field so they can see how it’s supposed to be done.”